The Virtualization Room

Apr 5 2007   9:05AM GMT

Virtual Iron Offers up Performance Benchmark

cwolf Profile: cwolf

Following Simon Crosby’s release of a XenSource performance benchmark, I began to needle the folks at Virtual Iron about publishing a benchmark of their own. In short time, Chris Barclay, Virtual Iron’s Director of Product Management, sent me some numbers with his blessing to make public.

Their benchmark was based on the Windows Server 2003 OS running on an Intel Xeon 2.66GHZ dual socket/dual core server, with a 1333MHz FSB and 4GB of DDR2 667MHz RAM. For their tests, 1GB of RAM was allocated to the OS and the VM connected to raw SAN storage. So the test environment, in my opinion, is very fair.
Now onto the results…

Benchmark

Native

Virtual Iron

Delta

SPECInt 2000

2140

2068

3%

netperf tcp stream send

949

933

2%

netperf tcp stream receive

941

913

3%

SPECjbb2000

55,943

54,508

3%

SPECweb2005

     Network (MB/sec)

     Disk (MB/sec)

     Disk (Transfers/sec)

4.325

0.524

95.2

4.31

0.523

95.2

0.3%

0.2%

0%

So overall the Windows Server 2003 VM was able to perform at or below a 3% performance degradation. The Virtual Iron tests followed the same benchmark pattern used by VMware. If you would like to see the VMware results and also get more detail on what each individual benchmark is testing, take a look at VMware’s document “A Performance Comparison of Hypervisors.” Keep in mind that the Xen performance numbers in the VMware paper are under significant debate, with most of us (myself included) seeing Simon Crosby’s Xen benchmark numbers as being more accurate.

Throughput degradation has been very important in many of the virtualization projects that I have been involved with, so having some hard numbers for performance comparison between VMware, XenSource, and Virtual Iron is extremely helpful. I’m hopeful that we’ll see a similar benchmark from Microsoft once the Windows Server Virtualization (WSV) service is available in Longhorn Server, or even for Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 for the time being. If not, I’ll churn WSV or Virtual Server through the VMware benchmarks and post some numbers myself.

~Chris Wolf

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